Berto Jongman: 20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know

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Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

20 Crucial Terms Every 21st Century Futurist Should Know

George Dvorsky

We live in an era of accelerating change, when scientific and technological advancements are arriving rapidly. As a result, we are developing a new language to describe our civilization as it evolves. Here are 20 terms and concepts that you’ll need to navigate our future.

Back in 2007 I put together a list of terms every self-respecting futurist should be familiar with. But now, some seven years later, it’s time for an update. I reached out to several futurists, asking them which terms or phrases have emerged or gained relevance since that time. These forward-looking thinkers provided me with some fascinating and provocative suggestions — some familiar to me, others completely new, and some a refinement of earlier conceptions. Here are their submissions, including a few of my own.


1. Co-veillance
2. Multiplex Parenting
3. Technological Unemployment
4. Substrate-Autonomous Person
5. Intelligence Explosion
6. Longevity Dividend
7. Repressive Desublimation
8. Intelligence Amplification
9. Effective Altruism
10. Moral Enhancement
11. Proactionary Principle
12. Mules
13. Anthropocene
14. Eroom’s Law
15. Evolvability Risk
16. Artificial Wombs
17. Whole Brain Emulations
18. Weak AI
19. Neural Coupling
20. Computational Overhang

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